General Motors' Australian design studio, which has designed every locally made Holden since 1965's HD series will continue in operation after local car manufacturing ends in 2017, designing cars for North America, China, India and other global markets, a local report said.

The decision, reportedly made by new CEO Mary Barra, secures the jobs of 140 car designers, carsguide.com.au said.

The Holden design facility, one of 10 owned by General Motors globally, designed the Camaro sold in the US and the Cruze hatch sold locally as a Holden and internationally as a Chevrolet, among other models not yet on sale.

"We have support from GM leadership," former Holden design boss Mike Simcoe, now vice president of GM international design, was quoted as saying.

"Mary Barra supports Holden design," said Simcoe. "When she was in charge of product development (before she became CEO) she agreed this studio should continue."

Simcoe told carsguide Australia had a wealth of design talent because "we have more car brands on sale in Australia than most other countries, so the people who work here get exposed to more brands, from the cheapest to the dearest".